Start-up Opportunities in Canada

In Canada, start-up opportunities abound, whether you are an immigrant, resident, or Canadian citizen. Many start-ups focus on artisan and organic foods, brickwork and masonry, senior care, grocery home delivery, and other areas.

Business Opportunities for Entrepreneurs and Start-up Businesses

The market for gluten-free foods is growing in Canada, and even fast food chains began to diversify their menus and food choices. A growing number of small businesses also offer gluten-free products such as sandwiches, soups, bread, pizzas, and desserts. A grocery home delivery business is another option to look into, and there are different ways to go about it. One is to deliver meal kits or restaurant meals and cater to different categories of people, i.e. employees, retirees in senior housing, etc. Another option is to advertise your business online and offer customers the option to create shopping lists. A third idea is to start a business that caters to the needs of the elderly. In fact, there are plenty of franchise opportunities to look into, for example, a franchise specializing in asset liquidation, downsizing, relocation, and other services. Other ideas for your start-up business include starting a housekeeping company or a security company, mobile pet grooming, offering self-storage units, and many others.

Assistance and Financing under Different Programs

There are different government programs that help entrepreneurs and start-up businesses, including coaching and mentorship programs. Business plan writing workshops, marketing workshops, and accounting and budgeting seminars are also offered. The Canadian Youth Business Foundation also offers support and mentoring to start a successful business. Public funds are available in the form of financial assistance, grants, and contributions, and there are different programs to look into. Examples include the Alberta Media Fund, Agriculture Development Fund, Accessible Technology Program, and many others. Programs and incentives vary depending on the amount required and the purpose of financing, i.e. whether it is training employees, increasing efficiency or productivity, buying machinery or equipment, minimizing pollution, etc. Other forms of financing include wage subsidies, tax credits and refunds, cash advances and loan guarantees, and equity investments. Loan guarantees, for instance, help new businesses gain access to affordable financing. There are different programs to consider, including the Community Futures Program, Buyer Financing, Entrepreneur Loan Program, and others.

Loans by Banks, Credit Unions, and Other Private Loan Providers

Credit unions, caisses populaires, banks, and finance companies offer equipment lines of credit, small business loans, credit cards, and other financial solutions. Big banks in Canada offer the full array of financing options such as term, start-up, mid-term, and short-term loans as well as commercial mortgages and operating loans. Operating lines of credit are also available to help businesses increase their cash flow. Term loans with variable and fixed rates allow customers to invest in business equipment or renovate or buy capital assets or property. Many financial institutions feature term loans with lower than average variable rates. Another option is to apply for equipment leasing and financing. There are different financial solutions to consider, including third-party agreements, sale and leasebacks, conditional sales contracts, leases, and leasing lines of credits. The goal is to help businesses grow and expand and help them improve their cash flow. Asset based lending is also offered in different forms, including commercial mortgages, letters of credit, and equipment lines of credit. Some financial institutions also feature revolving lines of credit. Collateral is required in the form of real estate, equipment or machinery, inventory, accounts receivable, or another asset of value. A business credit card is yet another option to pay for day-to-day and operating expenses such as supplies, payroll, upgrades, and so on.

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Start-up Visa Program Canada

The Start-up Visa Program aims to attract immigrant entrepreneurs who are willing to move to Canada and have the potential to create jobs and offer innovative products and services. Applicants under the program are free to settle in any province in Canada, except for Quebec.

Benefits for Entrepreneurs

There are plenty of benefits for immigrant entrepreneurs in light of the fact that Canada has a strong, stable, and competitive economy. This means that businesses benefit from low operational costs and taxes, low corporate taxes, and an educated and highly skilled workforce.

Eligibility Criteria

There are certain eligibility criteria to meet to qualify under the Start-up Visa program. Applicants are asked to show proof of support of a designated business incubator, angel investor group, venture capital fund, or another organization. Examples of designated angel investor groups include TenX Angel Investors, Oak Mason Investors, and Angel One Network. The list of designated venture capital funds includes organizations such as Westcap Mgt., Version One Ventures, Golden Opportunities Fund, and others. Finally, there are designated business incubators such as the Waterloo Accelerator Centre, Genesis Centre, and Extreme Innovations, among others. To qualify, applicants are asked to show a letter of support. Those who meet the ownership criteria qualify under the Start-up Visa Program. This means that more than 50 percent of the voting rights are jointly held by the business and designated incubator, angel investor group, or venture capital fund. Applicants with 10 percent of the voting rights meet the eligibility criteria. The minimum investment depends on the source, whether it is a business incubator (none), angel investor group ($75,000), or venture capital fund ($200,000). Finally, there are language requirements as well. CLB 5 in French or English is required in areas such as writing, listening, reading, and speaking.

Applicants must pass all medical and security clearances to settle in Canada. All immigrants are required to pass background clearance, and those with a criminal record do not qualify. This is because they are regarded as a threat to internal security. U.S. citizens and residents are asked to present a FBI Police Clearance as well as a State Police Clearance Certificate. Applicants for permanent residence are also asked to contact a panel physician and pass a medical exam. In some cases panel physicians recommend laboratory tests and x-rays. All applicants are asked to bring certain documents, including a Medical Report Form and an ID card, driver’s license, or passport. Those who have existing medical conditions must bring relevant test results and medical reports.

Eligibility and Financial Criteria

Obviously, it is important to bring enough money, and the amount varies depending on the number of family members. Thus, the amount required for 7 family members is $33,014 while the amount for 3 family members is $19,093. A family of 4 must have a total of $23,181. Applicants who plan to bring more than $10,000 must inform the authorities upon arrival, whether bringing travellers’ cheques, cheques, bankers’ drafts, or cash. The same goes for treasury bills, debentures, bonds, stocks, and other securities. In some countries, there is a limit on the amount of money citizens can take abroad. It pays to ask a finance advisor, bank representative, or lawyer. Applicants who plan to move to Canada as self-employed persons or skilled workers are asked to show proof of funds.

It is also a good idea to take household and daily expenses into account. Household expenses include things like mortgage or rent, utility bills, gas or public transportation, health insurance, food, and so on. The standard of living in the applicant’s home country is often different than in Canada.